Four Wings, Will Travel

Working with new partners to 
    understand dragonfly migration     

It may come as no surprise to those accustomed to watching the skies for migrating birds that some insects follow similar routes in the fall, as migrating dragonflies and butterflies are often seen flying along routes used by migrating birds. This aerial association between migrating birds and dragonflies has led to a different kind of association on the ground--a new collaboration between MDP and the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA).


MDP's citizen science-based study of dragonfly migration in North America has turned out to fit remarkably well with HMANA's long-term scientific data collection of fall raptor migration. HMANA's HawkWatch program currently collects hawk count data from almost 300 affiliated raptor monitoring sites throughout North America. Many HawkWatch counters already take note of migrating dragonflies, but that data has not been collated and used to research dragonfly migration. However, at the beginning of 2013, HMANA decided to formally incorporate dragonfly counts into their fall monitoring, and has been working with MDP to develop protocols and database entry fields that will be streamlined and easy to use for those HawkWatchers who want to become "dragonwatchers" as well.

Fall dragonfly migrations are sporadic and discontinuous, with large numbers moving in mass flights for a few days or even a few hours, followed by gaps with few to no migrants. HawkWatch counters are ideally situated to provide critically important data on the timing, abundance, and identity of dragonflies moving south during the fall migration season. With August fast approaching, dragonfly migration season will be upon us before we know it. If you would like to join the fall migration data collection at your local HawkWatch site, visit the HMANA website to find a site near you and to learn more about how to participate.

MDP's Mission
The Migratory Dragonfly Partnership is composed of dragonfly experts, nongovernmental programs, academic institutions, and federal agencies from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Together, we are combining research, citizen science, and education and outreach to better understand North America's migrating dragonflies and promote conservation of their wetland habitat.  
Two final 2013 Migratory Dragonfly Short Courses are scheduled for fall:
  • Point Blue Conservation Science, Petaluma, CA; September 21st
  • Long Point Bird Observatory, Ontario, Canada; date TBA

Check out HMANA's website for info on collecting dragonfly data at HawkWatch sites.

The MDP is helping to streamline data collection through creation of the new Pond Watch portal. Data entry is the same, the new portal just makes it faster and easier to submit your Pond Watch observations.

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Migratory Dragonfly Partnership  I  628 NE Broadway, Suite 200  I  Portland, OR 97232 USA
Copyright 2013 Migratory Dragonfly Partnership. All rights reserved.
Banner photo: Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata), John Abbott